Gandhi will be honoured as part of a government plan to acknowledge the role of foreign nationals in the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistani forces, an official said.
“Some 100 foreign nationals of different categories are expected to be ceremonially awarded coinciding with our 40th Independence Day on 26th March next year in Dhaka. But Mrs. Gandhi would conferred with a special honour,” Secretary of the Liberation War Ministry Uzzal Bikash Dutta told Indian media.
He said a national committee constituted earlier had nominated her for the special honour for her “unique” role in “offering training to freedom fighters and refuge to millions of people who fled the country and building world opinion for Bangladesh’s independence”.
Foreign secretary Mohamed Mijarul Queyes, who headed the national subcommittee for preparing the list of foreigners to be honoured, said the committee was expected to finalise the list in its meeting to be chaired by Foreign Minister Dipu Moni Sunday.
The criterion of the recipients was finalised earlier. He said people of different categories like foreign statesmen, politicians, diplomats, soldiers, artists and writers, journalists, rights activists and groups and media organisations like the BBC and All India radio have been nominated for the award.
Bangladesh is to invite the recipients or their relatives to receive the awards in Dhaka.
“The objective of the award is to express our acknowledgement to prove we are a grateful nation,” Dutta said.
Bangladesh won its independence in 1971 after nine months of a Liberation War against Pakistani forces with crucial Indian support.